Elizabeth White (right) of the Penobscot Fly Fishers teaches some youngsters how to tie a fly during their recent show at the Brewer Auditorium. Credit: Pete Warner / BDN

Two groups dedicated to the outdoors recently proved that in order to make a difference, it is necessary to be proactive.

Promoting their activities, educating the public and sharing experiences in the hope of getting more people involved — especially youngsters — was a common theme at two recent events.

The Penobscot Fly Fishers’ annual “Cabin Fever Reliever” in Brewer brought together a host of people eager to generate interest in a variety of pursuits including fly fishing and fishing in general, along with fly tying, conservation efforts, snowmobiling and art.

The show was a reflection of the group’s desire to share the joys of all those activities and, in particular, to help create an appeal to children. The proceeds from the event are used by Penobscot Fly Fishers to offer fly tying and fly fishing classes, among other projects.

Their outreach, which is provided exclusively through the efforts of club volunteers, is designed to provide a spark for people who may not have tried fly fishing in the hope that they’ll get hooked and pass the hobby along to others.

The enthusiasm of the club members such as show chairperson Tim White, president Don Corey and spokesperson Paul Markson was palpable as they engaged the public, including many old friends and some new ones. Elizabeth White also patiently took children through the process of tying a fly of their own as part of the event.

Penobscot Fly Fishers attracted more than twice the number of show patrons this year compared with 2022 and it is already gearing up for the 2024 edition.

A similar spirit of unselfishness and sharing ideas was on display during the first FBM Maine Outdoor Journal Post Rut Party, which also was held in Brewer.

A recent fly fishing show at the Brewer Auditorium. Credit: Pete Warner / BDN

Joe Osgood Jr. of FMB Maine Outdoor Journal, who is among the growing number of deer hunters who are recording their trips into the woods to share on YouTube, brought in some of New England’s most recognizable YouTubers in the hope of generating discussion and interest.

Those in attendance were treated to some cool hunting videos and also had the chance to speak with some of the folks from Big Woods Bucks, Mountain Deer, Beyond the Boundaries and FBM Maine Outdoor Journal about a sport for which they share a passion.

Again, appealing to young people and supporting their efforts was among the key goals of the gathering. Osgood has a vested interest there, since he has three young children who he is introducing to the outdoors.

The Post Rut Party raised almost $3,500 to support two important causes. The proceeds included a $1,900 donation to the Michaela Morgan Memorial Youth Lifetime License Fund, which was aided by $400 from Foggy Mountain Scents in Hermon.

It also provided $1,500 for the Aroostook County White-Tailed Deer Collaborative, a program designed to purchase land for use as deer wintering habitat.

It is truly gratifying to witness the efforts these groups are making. It proves that small gestures to promote the value of outdoor pursuits and introduce them to young people can have the potential to make a big effect.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...